Lynch Syndrome is a hereditary cancer syndrome that predisposes one to a long list of genitourinary and gastrointestinal system cancers.
In particular, Lynch is associated with an extremely high risk of colon cancer in both sexes and endometrial (Uterine) cancer in women.
In addition, the variant of Lynch called Muir-Torre Syndrome further predisposes one to a rare and aggressive form of skin cancer called Sebaceous Carcinoma (oil gland cancer).
In layman’s terms, having the Lynch mutation means you do not have the genes required to repair mistakes made during DNA replication. In other words, the Lynch mutation does not cause cancer per se, but it renders one significantly more vulnerable to getting cancer.
Importantly, Lynch is a hereditary syndrome. If one parent has the Lynch mutation, there is a 50% chance that it will be inherited by a child. (Naturally, this has some profound implications that will be discussed in subsequent posts)
As of this writing, the prevalence of Lynch Syndrome is estimated to be around 1 in 300, which suggests that over a million Americans alone have the Lynch mutation. It also suggests, as of this writing, that most of them don’t know they have it. This, of course, is one reason I was compelled to come out.